Bonnie Watson Coleman

From the office of:

Bonnie Watson Coleman

Sending Office: Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)



Endorsements: American Psychological Association, Young Invincibles

Cosponsors (17): Alma Adams, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Yvette Clarke, Emanuel Cleaver, Davis Danny, Eliot Engel, Chuy Garcia, Alcee Hastings, Jahana Hayes, Steven Horsford, Sheila Jackson Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Barbara Lee, Gwen Moore, Elanor
Holmes Norton, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley


Dear Colleague,

I invite you to join me as a cosponsor of
H.R. 5469
– The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act of 2019.

In April of last year, the Congressional Black Caucus launched the Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health and appointed me as chair. Over the course of the year we held several hearings, meetings, and district events to discuss the
rise in Black youth suicide and what factors might be causing it. Alongside our work, we had a Working Group of experts in the field to prepare a

report on the issue and prepare policy recommendations
on how we can address it legislatively.

Based on this report, I have compiled recommendations into a bill that will be the first step in the right direction, The Pursuing Equity in Mental Health Act of 2019. This legislation will address the issue of suicide and mental health in youth from all
communities by focusing on a few key areas: support in schools, scientific research, and increase funding in existing programs. Though the Taskforce report focuses on Black youth, this legislation will be extremely beneficial to all youth, especially youth
of color who do not get the same access to care like their White counterparts. This omnibus legislation will:


  • Provide Grants for Culturally Competent Mental Health Services:
    • $250 million to schools across the country so they can have more culturally and linguistically appropriate mental health services. Priority will be given to schools with higher levels of poverty, to reducing the ratio of counselors to students and to helping
      more students of color. These grants will also provide training for teachers and other school staff so they can better identify the signs of trauma, mental health disorders, and risk of suicide in all students.
    • $20 million to establish interprofessional health care teams that can provide behavioral health care.
    • Awards grants to develop cultural competency educational curricula so students training to be social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists will be able to properly treat youth of color.
  • Increase Authorize Funding Levels for Research and Minority Fellowship Program:
    • Authorizes $650 million to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) so that more research into addressing mental and physical health disparities can be conducted.
    • Authorizes an additional $100 million to the National Institute of Health (NIH) that will be used to build relations with communities and provide research grants for clinical research so that more patient based research can be conducted.
    • Doubles the authorization of the Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) to $25 Million to help more students of color become psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, and therapists.
  • Direct Research and Resources at Federal Departments and Agencies:
    • Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a Commission on the Effects of Smartphone and Social Media Usage on Adolescents.
    • Prohibits federal funds from being used for conversion therapy and prohibits SAMHSA grants from going to states that continue to allow such practices.


For more information on the legislation or if you would like to be included as an original cosponsor, please contact Brad Korten ( or call  (202) 225-5801. Thank you for your consideration.






Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Education, HealthCare, Small Business

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